Not Feeling Motivated? Try These Mind Hacking Tricks

…And we don’t mean visualizing that the rent is due! (Although we know for a fact that works.)

How to Give Yourself a Quick Motivational Boost – by Ali Luke

Take a Break

Sometimes, your motivation wanes because you’ve been working too hard for too long. Take a break.

Even a few minutes away from your computer can help you unwind. This is also a great way to recover a sense of perspective, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the task at hand.

Go for a Walk

One of the best ways to take a break is to go for a walk.

Even a five-minute walk helps. You’ll get your body moving and your blood pumping, and you’ll return to your work feeling re-energized.

Write a Task List

Sometimes, your motivation might take a nosedive because you’ve got so much on your plate, you don’t know where to begin.

Write a task list for the rest of the day. Get everything out of your head and onto paper. It’ll only take a few minutes—and everything will look much more manageable.

Race Against the Clock

Struggling with a tedious task? Challenge yourself to work faster.

Aim to clear your inbox in just 30 minutes. Push yourself to sort that huge stack of files in under an hour. Set a timer, and try to beat it.

Talk to a Friend

Friends are a great source of support. A quick chat online or on the phone can give you a genuine motivation boost.

If you’re struggling with your diet or exercise plan, call a friend and tell them. If you’re having doubts about your freelance design work, talk to other designers. Remind yourself of the value of what you’re doing.

Drink a Glass of Water

Are you drinking enough water?

Mild dehydration makes it hard to stay focused—so if your concentration levels are dipping, grab a tall glass of water.

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The water drinking thing really – and surprisingly – worked for us, but there also are 4 more approaches after the click that seem just as good.

Shooting Video So It Doesn’t Cost an Arm & a Leg

At a time when peer production is amount the best possible routes to TV and film making success, how can you let a little thing like not having a top video camera stand in your way? You don’t have to, and here’s why:

Shoot Great Video Using Just Your Phone’s Camera – by Alan Henry

If you want to shoot good-looking video you don’t always need expensive gear. The folks at Wistia were tired of hearing people underestimate the power of the cameras we carry around with us, so they put together a great tutorial on how to shoot high-quality video using just your phone’s camera.

Wistia, a company that specializes in video hosting, did roll out some pretty serious lighting for the video, but the moral of the story is that positioning, lighting and light control, and the right apps for your mobile device can make all the difference when you’re going for quality. There’s no reason to consider a camera on a smartphone “not a real camera” for most people:

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Did You Know that Everybody You Meet in the TV Biz is Going to Hate You?

‘Cuz we’re all rivals, don’tcha see? And any piece of the pie you get is that much taken out of ours. But you need friends to help you if you’re ever going to make it, so read on and find out what to do:

How to Win Over Someone Who Doesn’t Like You – by Dorie Clark (Forbes.Com)

Does your co-worker scowl every time you walk by? Is that guy in your networking group consistently aloof? Sometimes, for no clear reason, someone may decide they dislike you—and if you want a more comfortable work environment, it’s up to you to change the dynamic. So what can you do to disarm a cranky colleague?

In a recent podcast interview, renowned social psychologist Robert Cialdini offered two counterintuitive suggestions:

Give Honest Compliments

It may not be easy, especially if the person has been distancing themselves from you for a while. But if you’re objective, they probably have some qualities you admire. If you take a positive action and compliment them, it may well break the ice and make them re-evaluate their perceptions of you.

Ask for Their Advice

Cialdini notes this strategy—which involves asking for their professional advice, book suggestions, etc.—comes from Founding Father Ben Franklin, a master of politics and relationship building. “Now you’ve engaged the rule of commitment and consistency,” says Cialdini, in which they look at their actions (giving you advice or a book) and draw a conclusion from it (they must actually like you), a surprisingly common phenomenon in psychology. “And suddenly,” says Cialdini, “you have the basis of an interaction, because now when you return it, you can return it with a book you think he or she might like.”

Cialdini’s advice makes you vulnerable, to a certain extent; you’re explicitly making a point of deferring to someone who may not like you. But if you’re ever going to change the relationship, you have to be willing to take that chance.

How have you repaired frosty relationships, or turned around someone who didn’t like you?

So we’ve been staring at that last sentence above for almost an hour now and find ourselves stumped. Can’t come up with one single time we’ve ever succeeded in getting someone who didn’t like us to become a friend – although the times the opposite has happened are too numerous to count.

We’re doomed. Doomed, we say! Don’t let this happen to you.

The TVWriter™ Basic Online Workshop Starts This Tuesday

…And we have one – count ’em, one – opening left.

Our advice: Take advantage of this chance to learn as much as you can about the ins and outs and, most importantly, the overall mindset of writing for TV and film while you can because Larry Brody won’t be teaching it again for another year.

Oh, and, as they say on TV, if you act now (*insert echo effect: now…now…now…!*) you’ll receive your very own e-book copy of LB’s acclaimed TV writing text, Television Writing from the Inside Out abso-fucking-lutely free (*more echo: free…free…free…!*).

(EDITED TO ADD: The free book thing is true, but not quite the way it sounds. New Basic Workshop students always get a free PDF copy of Television Writing from the Inside Out because it’s the textbook for the course. But munchman’s been talking to this Very Attractive Internet Marketing Guru, and she said we had to “highlight the freebies” so we have. Hope this worked for her because it made us feel a little icky, you know?)

Improve Creativity by Taking Breaks

In other words: Stop and smell the roses. Here’s how:

Or the posies. Whatever.

Best Rest Practices for Optimal Productivity & Creativity – by Jeffrey Davis

We know taking breaks optimizes work-and-create flow. But what are the best practices and under what conditions? Some people advise mindful breaks. Others suggest full-blown hour-long naps. Much depends, according to the research, upon your circumstances and your desired ends.

An optimal work-and-create flow is an extended period of time in which your mind and body are performing at their best when engaged in high-thinking and high-imagining tasks and projects. You sustain focus, your body’s fire stays stoked, your attitude flourishes, your imagination hangs from the monkey bars.

But most of us know that pulling all-nighters and pumping our bodies with caffeine does not an optimal work-and-create flow make.

Here’s a quick review of relevant studies and my suggestions based on my own experiences and in working with first-rate authors, designers, and entrepreneurs.

THE YOUTHFUL BRAIN IS FASTER BUT… not necessarily better (and working 16-hour days is not necessarily more productive). I know numerous twenty-somethings who champion their 16-hour work days and Silicon Valley-like war stories of all-nighters to innovate a software product. Among some twenty-somethings, to work-and-crash is cool.

If you’ve reached the middle years and bemoan your inability to think quickly or work as hard as you used to, take note of psychologist Sherry Willis’s longitudinal study of cognitive performance, the Seattle Longitudinal Study. For more than 40 years, this study has tracked the cognitive performance of over 6,000 healthy men and women.

True, most twenty-something brains process information more efficiently. But not necessarily more effectively.

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